Each January, our seminarians in their final year of formation and education encounter Christ in a new way. While walking in the footsteps of Jesus during the annual Holy Land Retreat and Pilgrimage, Scripture comes alive for the seminarian and he can never read or pray the same again. His everyday prayer and everyday preaching are more fruitful as he serves the people as a future parish priest.
What will each deacon gain during his pilgrimage?
- Enriched homilies as he has been afforded a deep personal connection with the events and mysteries of Jesus’ life;
- A deeper understanding of the ministry of Jesus Christ and his own call to serve;
- A keener sense of Christ’s healing sacrifice at Calvary present in the Mass;
- New insights in prayer as he envisions the events of the Bible in an entirely new manner;
- A sense of the living history of the Church—universal and true;
- Greater awareness of the inter-religious traditions in the Holy Land; and
- A connection with the plight of the Christian people living in the Holy Land.
What does the experience include?
- A five-day Canonical Retreat required for ordination to the Sacred Priesthood;
- Guidance from experienced spiritual directors and a retreat coordinator;
- Time for pilgrimage in the Holy Land; and
- Two days for travel to and from Jerusalem.
How Can I Help?
The retreat and pilgrimage costs approximately $5,000 per participant. In addition to the costs for the seminarians, expenses will also be incurred for the accompanying spiritual directors (one for ever four or five deacons) and the retreat coordinator. The seminary has several available sources which will accommodate some of the costs, including the endowment and tuition. Opportunities for support include:
Msgr. William Lyons Fund
A bequest from a beloved alumnus established a spiritual formation retreat fund as a reserve if sufficient funds for the pilgrimage are not received each year. If the pilgrimage is fully funded, the Lyons Fund may be used to support other retreats and formation programs. If you wish to leave a legacy like Msgr. Lyons, please consider making a planned gift.
Guests at the annual Convivium Dinner Auction have the opportunity to donate to the Holy Land Retreat and Pilgrimage during the Fund-A-Need.
Friends of the Seminary are invited to prayerfully consider providing a full or partial sponsorship for one of the deacons:
Pilgrimage Sponsor: $5,000 will sponsor the entire Pilgrimage for one deacon.
Galilee Sponsor: $2,000 will sponsor the seven nights on Mt. Beatitudes, including the five-day Canonical Retreat.
Jerusalem Sponsor: $1,500 will sponsor five days around Jerusalem, including visits to the Garden of Gethsemane, the Wailing Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Travel Sponsor: $1,000 will support a seminarian on his journey from St. Louis to Jerusalem and back.
Day Sponsors: $250 will sponsor one day in the Holy Land for a seminarian.